“The only legacy that I leave with Wawasee for many years is the dry hydrants,” stated Bob Dickinson, during an emotional acceptance of the annual Wawasee Property Owners Association’s Chief Award. “We have 22 of them. I’m very proud of them. When I talk to Mickey (Scott, Turkey Creek Fire Territory Fire Chief) he is very pleased that he has these and an opportunity to get water from the lake no matter what time of year, hopefully to put out fires at homes and save lives. Thank you all.”
Dickinson received a standing ovation when he accepted the award. The award was presented Saturday evening at the annual WPOA dinner. This year’s event was held at the Dick Ruddell Pavilion at Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation’s Educational Center.
Kay Young, WPOA president, read information about this year’s recipients. Many looked around and began wondering who it could be, including the recipient himself. It wasn’t until the nicknames given to him and his wife by their grandchildren and great-grandchildren did Dickinson realize he was the recipient.
Sitting quietly at the table, he just shook his head.
Dickinson served as a director of the WPOA board, a volunteer on the lake patrol for 10 years, took water samples and helped with the watershed program. He was instrumental in and heading up the development of the dry hydrants that circle the lake to provide water for the fire department in fighting fires. He also served as president of the WPOA prior to Young being elected. It was also noted Dickinson continues to meet with the fire territory to make sure the hydrants are maintained and working as each should.
“On a personal note, in the last 10 years, he has also always been there when I have needed someone to talk out a situation that has arisen, ready with great advice!” added Young. She also noted Dickinson is “a true example of going above and beyond the call to improve the lake area that he and his family love.”
Dickinson has been coming to the lake since the early 1930s when as a child he would come with his parents and they rented a cottage during the summer. Growing up at Wawasee in the summer, he forged friendships still carried on today. In later years he and his wife, Dottie, and his family rented a cottage they shared with friends. His children remember many great days of skiing, sailing and boating, “a great place to grow up as we all know.”
The Dickinsons purchased their own home at Wawasee in 1971. Information provided by his family noted their home was outfitted with treasures from frequent trips to Shipshewana and as the family grew so did the cottage with a renovation in 1990 that held true to the “cottage feel” they all loved. The cottage is now home to 25 family members including 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. “But Dede and Popie are still the heads of this Wawasee family.”
Dickinson and his wife Dottie will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in December.
The Chief Award is presented by the WPOA to a person, persons or business, who have gone above the call of duty in relation to the lake, WPOA and the area surrounding the lake.
The one item of business that evening was the election of new officers. Tom Tuttle II, nominating committee chairman, reported four individuals terms were expiring: Carolyn Anderson, Sally Gindling, George Hardie and Jim Tranter.
Anderson, Gindling and Tranter agreed to continue for another three-year term. However, Hardie stepped down.
Tuttle presented the name of Jim Silcox as a candidate for the board. When nominations were closed, Silcox was welcomed to the board. Silcox and his family have been residents of Lake Wawasee since 1993 and reside in the north Kitson Park Channel area on East North Kitson Lane.
A preliminary donation to the Syracuse-Wawasee Trails project was presented to Spike Ford. The funds presented reflect those raised through the sale of the yearly art work in the association’s artist series. This year $5,000 was given to the trail committee with more funds forthcoming based on sales by the end of the year. Young did note while there was no home tour this year, five or possibly six homes are committed for the tour at the end of July in 2013.
Prior to the start of the evening Sam Leman, incoming president for Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, welcomed the guests to the property, encouraging individuals to take a tour and invited everyone to the annual WACF breakfast meeting Saturday.
The evening concluded with music and entertainment from Brian Vance and the Big Dawg Variety Show providing music from the 1950s through current hits. The evening meal was provided by The Sleepy Owl.